New Mexico – Gov. Susana Martinez has signed an executive order that frees up as much as $750,000 in state emergency funds for costs incurred by state and local entities as a result of last week's natural gas outage.
The state has received disaster declarations from 13 local governments within the last two days, and more are expected.
Martinez's order comes as teams with the Federal Emergency Management Agency begin assessing the damage caused when record cold temperatures socked much of New Mexico and tens of thousands of residents were left without natural gas service.
The governor's office anticipates the damages will rise to the level of a presidential disaster declaration. That would enable FEMA to reimburse local governments for costs associated with uninsured damages and response efforts during the state of emergency.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.